CO Half-Marathon Training Week IV

Roman numerals just feel right for blog post titles recently. Going with it.

I’m typing this while a snoring doggy is snoozing away in my lap, and frankly I feel about the same. This was a big week! It was mostly all good, and I’m happy with the momentum that seems to be building.

Here’s how training went over the past 7 days:

Monday: Lookout Mountain (9 mi)

After last week’s weather fiasco, I really wanted another go at Lookout for the full experience. Luckily, the weather was positively perfect last Monday; crisp, clear and still. Thanks to good ole’ DST, it was much darker on the way up the road than it has been recently, but the sun rose on the way down and it was gorgeous! Julia, Meaghan and I all agreed that this jaunt more than made up for the week before. And bonus…I felt super strong and fresh. I was encouraged by this run, as I’ve been trying to get stronger on hills, and it was overall a great start to the week.

Also, I wore a new pair of shoes (Saucony Freedoms) and I loved them! They are super lightweight but also sturdy and good for all-around wear.

Tuesday: Long Fartlek workout (9.5 mi)

I read about an awesome time-based workout on the Picky Bars blog (designed by Lauren Fleshman, no less) that I was itching to try out. I’ve never done an interval workout that’s based on time instead of distance, which is what really piqued my interest. Here’s what was on tap:

10x – 3:00 on, 2:00 off (10 minute warm-up, 10 minute cool-down)

For the “on” intervals, my goal was to run around 10k effort, which I thought was probably around a 6:45 pace. I managed to wrangle Nina to do this workout with me, which I was so thankful for because it kept me honest to stick to the plan and not skimp! Nina did 7 of the 10 intervals with me, and overall we stuck closely to the prescribed “on” pace and enjoyed a nice easy jog during the “off” 2 minutes. I felt good through about 7.5 intervals, and the last 2.5 were tough! I had to muscle through them, but I felt very satisfied and comfortably wiped afterward.

When I finished, I texted Julia that the workout really compounded on itself; I felt really good at first and the fatigued just gradually settled in. Great workout!

Wednesday: NP5280 + run to/from (8.2 mi)

I was ready for an easier day on Wednesday after hills on Monday and speed on Tuesday, so I took it pretty easy on my run to and from November Project as well as at the workout. My stomach also felt kind of terrible when I woke up, so I was wary of it throughout the morning.

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On your marks! Look at those pretty new blue shoes and that dirty old white hat (lower left)

We did a couple of sprints around the Capitol Building which were fun, as well as a stairs + push up + sit up workout that acted as my lone strength work for the week.

Thursday: Dino Ridge hill repeats (7.5 mi)

I slept approximately 3.5 hours on Wednesday night, and had I not already been awake when it was time to get up to run, I would have bagged the whole thing. Not exactly setting things up for success.

I really wanted these hills to feel good, but deep down I knew I was probably in for a not-so-great run, which I was unfortunately right about. My legs had zero gusto! I was happy enough to just be out there with the PlayGldn crew under a beautiful sunrise. Hopefully next time I’ll have a little more fire.

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Sky!

Friday: Rest

 

I think I had less than 4,000 steps on Friday. Taking rest days very seriously over here.

Saturday: Mt. Bross – March 14er! (6.2 hiking miles)

Oh man, Adam and I were about as close as you can get to not doing this one. We were both so tired from the week, and generally a 14er day didn’t sound super appealing to me. But, I knew there wouldn’t be much more time to get in a 14er for the month of March, and as we’ve said so far throughout this “challenge,” we want to at least give ourselves a chance to succeed at it. So, on Thursday I made a dog boarding reservation for Mona “just in case,” and somehow that was enough of an inspiration to muster up the energy to go.

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It was so fun! We decided to hike Mt. Bross, which is a mountain ordinarily done as one-of-four in the summer months (Democrat, Cameron, and Lincoln are the other three). Admittedly, Adam and I have poked fun at Bross for just being kind of a walk-over, ant hole of a mountain that you happen to do when you do the others.

However, after doing this peak on its own from an alternative route, my respect for it has greatly increased. We didn’t follow a standard trail due to avalanche safety precuation, but the route we did create for ourselves was super steep! We hiked the east-facing side so it was nearly all dry above treeline, and we both wore t-shirts for most of the hike. It was lovely but also a bit alarming considering it’s technically still winter and there was hardly any snow. Anyway, we were up and down in about four hours and it was overall a great day.

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Third 14er of 2017!

Sunday: Long run (16 mi)

The adventure of Sunday’s long run started before we even put our feet on the pavement! The plan was for a group of us to run Magnolia Road in Boulder which is an iconic 16 mile, high-altitude rolling dirt road. The weather was ideal, everyone’s schedules synced up, it seemed too good to be true. And unfortunately…it was. On the way into Boulder, we noticed that there was smoke billowing out of the foothills and wondered if there was some kind of fire. Sure enough, Meaghan called me minutes later and told us that the road up to Magnolia was closed. We tried to keep the group momentum going and opt for another Boulder option, but it was frankly too smoky for anyone to safely run outside.

My car (Adrienne and me) weren’t on any time restriction necessarily, so we decided to follow Julia and Meg back to Golden so we could copy-cat Dan on the long run he’d done the day before near Golden Gate Canyon State Park.

And it turned out as the best happy accident! The run was so beautiful, challenging and all-around awesome. The climbs and descents seemingly never ended in the best kind of way, and you truly felt completely isolated from any nearby city. Loved the run, the company, and loved how (mostly) good I felt! My legs were feeling the mountain climbing from the day before, but I still felt strong and capable throughout the 16 miles we covered. Near the end, I was flirting ever so slightly with the threat of bonking, but it never happened and I ended feeling exhausted in the best kind of way.

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Longest run since December, too!

Total (running and hiking):  56.6 miles, 7,826 feet of climbing

Highs: 14er and awesome long run. My kind of perfect weekending!

Lows: Bad sleep throughout the week, poor stretching/rolling/recovery regimen. Will do better this week!

 

 

 

 

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